Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Mary Ellen Dewey
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Rebels runners-up at Five State

 

Mary Ellen Dewey

The team at the Gangelhoff Center of Concordia College St. Paul, where they received their medals and plaque. Front row, left to right: Kaden Robbins, Brady Robbins, Eli Youngs, Adam Neumann, Dawson Mortensen, and Cobe Kirk. Back row: Coach Al Von Reuden, Joey Steen, Hunter Van Heel, Luke Dewey, Coach Chad Robbins, Nolan Nelson, Tyler Von Reuden and Coach Paul Dewey

Moose Lake Willow River Rebels sixth grade basketball team was one of the teams that qualified to play in the Pacesetter Five State Championship games held at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The other teams that participated in it were: West Fargo, ND; Lake City, MN; Mount Vernon, IA; Germantown, WI; Adel-DeSoto-Minburn, IA; Climax-Fisher/NCW, MN; and St. Joseph-Waconia, MN.

The Rebels faced the North Dakota state champions, West Fargo, in their first game on Saturday, July 14. It was a tight game the first half and MLWR led by two at the halfway mark. The Rebels had a difficult time connecting on their free throws and only made six out of very many. Their tenacious defense held West Fargo to only 11 points in the second half. The Rebels won the game 35-29.

Their next game was against the winner of Adel-DeSoto-Minburn, IA and Climax-Fisher/NCW, MN. Iowa won 29-15. This game was also played at the Target Center at 8 p.m. The Rebels had to play their hardest to stay in the game and at halftime it was tied 11-11. Their free throw shooting greatly improved and they were five for six in the first half. The game scoring was a shared effort. Their persistent effort and determination to win the game came through at the end and they won by a score of 29-26. When it comes down to the last two minutes of a game these young players know how to pull out a win. They are relentless, unshakable and cohesive because they have played so many games together they can anticipate the moves of their teammates.

Mary Ellen Dewey

The Rebels were featured on the jumbotron in Target Center in Minneapolis after the introduction before the WBA Lynx vs Conneticut game on Sunday evening, July 15.

This win put them into the championship against Lake City, who had defeated Germantown, WI 41-29 at Concordia University Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul. The Rebels had played Lake City twice this season already. Down in the Rochester regionals, the Rebels were up by one with just a few seconds left and Lake City made a buzzer beater to win by one. They also faced them in the Minnesota state finals at Maple Grove. The lead went back and forth the entire game by one or two points and at the half Rebels led 23-22. The game could have gone either way depending on when the buzzer rang. The final score in the state was Lake City 43 Rebels 40. The Lake City coach stated that they had played 48 games this year and won them all, no losses. This championship game was fast-paced and at halftime the Rebels were trailing by five. The Rebels made six for 13 at the line and Lake City was nine for 12. The MLWR players did a great job holding Lake City's leading scorer, go-to-guy, to only two baskets in the first half and two baskets in the second half. Near the final minutes of the game the Rebels were trailing by only three, but then Lake City started holding the ball so MLWR had to foul to get the ball back. Lake City made all but one of their free throws in the second half. Lake City won the game with a score of 37-29. The Rebels were Great Five State Runner-up. It was a great showing for small-town Moose Lake Willow River. They were each awarded medals and the team a plaque for the trophy case.

In the evening the team was introduced at the WBA Lynx vs. Connecticut game and a Lynx banner was displayed announcing their accomplishment.

 

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